I gave blood!

ImageFor years and years, I’ve managed to avoid giving blood for various reasons. I never did it in high school because I would have been terrified, and I never sought out a blood drive in college because I always had some excuse, like homework or class or work. Once I finally realized that it might be a worthwhile cause, I was ensnared in a few disqualifications, having traveled to places where malaria is found (a big no-no) and getting recently inked.

This time, I had no excuses. I saw a note about it in our tri-weekly E-Announcements at work and couldn’t get it out of my head. The Red Cross people even came by our office to invite us. How do you say no to that? I’m not really afraid of needles, so that excuse was out. My best friend has been giving blood like a champ for years, even after a dreaded incident in high school when she fainted in the concrete-floored art room after donating and smacked her head. If that didn’t stop her, it shouldn’t stop me.

My biggest worries were having low iron levels (let’s face it- I basically live off of Halloween candy) and fainting. But the world is filled with lots of tragic stories and honestly, the fear of fainting doesn’t even register on the world drama scale. After reading that first E-Announcement, my gut reaction was, “Ewww. I’ll faint if I do that. No way.” And the weirdest thing is that a quote from The Princess Diaries immediately came to mind after that.

Would I feel relieved, or would I feel sad? And then I realized how many stupid times a day I use the word ‘I.’ And probably all I ever do is think about myself. And how lame is that when there’s like seven billion other people out there on the planet, and… sorry, I’m going too fast. But then I thought, if I cared about the other seven billion out there, instead of just me, that’s probably a much better use of my time.

I sucked it up, got over myself, and decided to do it. And luckily, one of my dear coworkers stepped up to the challenge without any hesitation (well, until we got to the donation room, ha. But she got over it). And you know what? It was a little intimidating, and I was a little scared. I was even a little woozy afterward and had to lie down twice. But I lived through it. And you know what? They tell me that every bag of blood donated can save up to three lives. That’s a pretty big deal. A much bigger deal than a little wooziness.

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